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Kate Middleton's major hair transformation and new look explained

The Duchess of Cambridge stunned royal fans with her new look

kate middleton new curly hairstyle
Kate Thomas
Lifestyle Managing Editor
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The Duchess of Cambridge wowed royal fans when she arrived at the Royal Variety Performance alongside husband Prince William on Thursday night – and we couldn't get over her gorgeous hair transformation.

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Dazzling in a custom-made Jenny Packham gown, which she previously wore to a reception hosted by the British High Commissioner to Pakistan in 2019, Kate's glamorous evening look was enhanced by her brand new hairdo. She wore her long brunette locks swept over one shoulder, ditching her trademark bouncy blow-dry in favour of natural, tousled curls.

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We spoke to celebrity hairstylist Tom Smith, who explained why Duchess Kate experimenting with her hair marks a huge change in her public image, as well as giving us the lowdown on how to recreate the royal's look yourself at home.

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Tom tells HELLO!: "This is a completely different hair look for Kate than we have ever seen her wear before, not only is her hair swept over one shoulder in a clear statement but the texture of her hair is miles away from the traditional glossy blow-dry we are used to seeing."

kate green dress© Photo: Getty Images

Duchess Kate debuted a new curlier hairdo

The hair guru believes the decision to change up her more polished image is deliberate and makes her more "authentic" in the eyes of royal fans.

He says: "There’s been a real shift in how Kate is being presented to us recently, she appears much more warm and lighthearted and looks younger, more stylish and freer. It definitely feels more authentic."

Kate's look has been achieved using a smaller curling iron, with the emphasis on creating more volume and a more natural look.

kate middleton curls© Photo: Getty Images

The Duchess of Cambridge usually favours a bouncy blow-dry

"The texture of her curls have been carefully styled in, but has been designed to look almost like it could be her naturally curly hair. Her stylist will have used a smaller curling iron, taking fine sections and alternating the direction of the curl," Tom explains.

"This gives more volume and a softer more natural look. The result gives off a much younger, more playful energy. It’s interesting that the side-swept style does not appear to be ‘pinned’ or secured over her shoulder — which would appear more regal and stiff, but instead Kate has simply swept her curls over her shoulder in a much more casual way than we have seen before."

kate middleton close up curls© Photo: Getty Images

The royal has moved towards a more relaxed, natural look

Meanwhile, her colour has also been lightened. Top London hair salon Saco Hair's colour team, who work with Rosamund Pike and Dawn French, revealed how her warmer new shade has modernised her look.

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They explain: "Kate is right on trend for the autumn/winter season. Gone are the pre-lightened or beachhead ends (for those who were lucky enough to visit one!), and in are beautiful, russet warm tones resulting in healthy, shiny, glossy hair.

"The choice of colour from the autumn colour pallet would depend on natural hair colour and skin tone, so we would recommend booking in for a consultation beforehand."

kate middleton prince william royal variety© Photo: Getty Images

The Duchess was joined by husband Prince William

Tom Smith's step-by-step guide to copying Kate Middleton's voluminous curls:

Step 1

Rough dry your hair or allow it to air dry if you have naturally wavy or curly hair.

Step 2

Using a medium-sized curling tong (20mm or thereabouts) take random sections of hair and curl them in alternating directions - making sure the curls directly next to the face curl ‘away’ from the face. If you have a natural wave don’t worry about curling every section as the goal is to give a slightly more polished twist on natural waves.

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Step 3

To finish, use your fingers to break up some of the curls and shake your hair lightly. Use a texturising spray or styling powder like Evo Haze near the roots to give lift and body.

evo haze styling powder

Evo Haze styling powder, now £19.94 ($29), Amazon


Step 4

Sweep your hair in front of one shoulder tucking the opposite side behind your ear and help secure the “tucked” side with a light mist of strong hairspray.

elnett hairspray

L'Oreal Hairspray by Elnett, £5 ($10.31), Boots


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